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The Secret Life of Avocados

I don’t know about you, but when I discover that a favorite food of mine has a secret life I was previously oblivious to, I tend to get a little irrationally excited. It happened when I discovered coffee could be consumed in solid form; it happened when I discovered olives were for more than just snacking with cocktails, and it happened when I discovered, on my first and only trip to the enchanting island of Bali, that avocados are just as good in dessert as they are in sandwiches, salads, dips and California rolls.

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  • 1 ripe Haas (dark-skinned) avocado, peeled and pitted

  • 4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 cup cold milk, more or less depending on thickness desired

  • few drops orange extract, or some vanilla, rum or coffee (optional)

  • crushed ice and additional sweetened condensed milk for serving


  • 1.

    Ombine everything in a blender and blend until very smooth (if you like you can add some of the ice here to give it more of a frosty milkshake character). Fill two glasses with additional ice. Drizzle a little more sweetened condensed milk over the ice before filling each with the avocado shake. Give it a quick stir and serve promptly, accompanied by a spoon.


Rich and creamy drinks made from avocados and sweetened milk are classic ways of enjoying this fruit across Asia, and are really delicious once you get past any initial ‘this is weird!’ reaction. Watch out for over-ripe avocados, however, whose slightly rancid taste will spoil the drink. The best avocados to use are those that gently yield to pressure, that are free from dark blotches inside the fruit. If you have any doubts, taste a piece first. Also, I really love the citrusy note that a little bit of orange essence adds, but the avocado also has enough flavor to stand up on its own, or to other dessert flavorings like vanilla and dark rum. Or try a shot of espresso, as they like it in Indonesia. p.s. Did I mention this drink is rich?

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